A conscience in the community?
Alongside the more conventional tasks of evangelizing the lost, edifying the saved, and ministering to those in need, Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, has set itself the goal of being ‘a conscience in the community’. I wonder if this idea isn’t worth exploring a bit within the context of a postmodern spirituality or metrospirituality because it seems to draw together a number of important emerging church preferences. These would be:
1. The requirement of a genuine, perhaps implicit rather than explicit, moral and spiritual integrity in the group of believers. This is critical: if Christians are going to appoint themselves as a conscience to the community, they will be wide open to charges of arrogance and hypocrisy.
2. The need for a corporate spirituality that embraces or connects with the full range of community interests and challenges (including social and environmental concerns). Traditional evangelical spirituality has often been too narrow to function in this way. But we would also have to ensure that we are not merely a conscience but also a consciousness of God in the community.
3. The demand for a spirituality/morality that is practical and committed, that does not merely preach but works.
4. The need for this conscience to be an integral part of the community, embedded, understood and trusted by people, wired up to the rest of the collective psychology. A conscience disconnected from the whole person is not much use.
Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?